Chelsea have completed the signing of England Under-19 international Lauren James from Manchester United, with Hannah Blundell moving to the Red Devils as part of the deal.
James spent time in the Blues’ academy as a youngster before moving to London rivals Arsenal and then Manchester United.
The forward was understood to have passed a medical at Chelsea earlier this month ahead of a proposed move, and Chelsea have now taken to their official website to confirm her arrival.
“Chelsea Women are delighted to confirm the signing of young forward Lauren James on a four-year deal,” the statement read.
“James was part of the Chelsea academy from Under-10s to Under-14s and re-joins the club from Manchester United ahead of our 2021/22 Barclays FA Women’s Super League season.”
James provided a brief statement expressing her delight at having re-joined the club and said she can’t wait to kick off the new season in front of the fans.
“It’s a great feeling to come back home, to a great club, the club I started at the age of six,” she said. “To be able to play for the first team now and come back here to Emma and the rest of the group is a great feeling.
“I’m excited to get started and I can’t wait to meet all the fans at Kingsmeadow when the new season kicks in.”
Following confirmation of James’ arrival, Chelsea boss Emma Hayes claimed everyone at the club is looking forward to watching the forward develop.
“When the opportunity came up to sign her, we felt now was the right time to bring her back to the club,” she said. “We’re excited to see how she develops in the coming years and look forward to welcoming her to pre-season training.”
The deal sees Blundell move in the opposite direction – as well as Chelsea forking out £50,000 according to The Athletic – and she took the opportunity to express her joy at finally being announced as a United player.
“I’m really excited to be joining this great club and I’m looking forward to being part of the journey with this team,” she told United’s official website.
“I believe Manchester United can be successful and win trophies, and I will do everything I can to help bring success to the club. I’m just happy to finally be a United player and I can wait to meet all the staff, players, and especially the fans!”